Not that I've been reading much recently anyway. I'd been rereading House of Leaves, mostly because it is both incredibly spooky, and it's got some seriously cool typography and design. That was until I picked up David Wong's sequel to one of my favourite books.
|John Dies at the End -|
The book itself is bonkers. It really does seem like Wong made the whole thing up as he went along, compiling three distinct stories into one crazy, meandering stream of consciousness that is incredibly addictive and I loved every moment of it.
The problem I had was that it felt like something I would have written. The tone, the bizarre nature of it all, it just felt like Wong had managed to plug into my brain and syphon my own strange ramblings and channel them into his book.
|John Dies at the End|
Film Poster edition
It wasn't long after the trailer for the movie hit the internet that a sequel to the book was officially announced. It came out just before NaNoWriMo, and I launched myself into David and John's world again. I didn't do as the usual reviewers, I took my time, and enjoyed it. When NaNo started in November, I calmed down the reading because I was worried that my writing style would become... I don't know... more... "Wong" than my own style. Thankfully, NaNo has finished and I was able to finish the book this morning.
The sequel, "This book is full of spiders (seriously dude, don't touch it!)" really does what it says on the tin. It is full of spiders. Evil, parasitic, alien spiders that bore into your head, take over your brain, and turn you into a violent zombie (for want of a better word). Unlike JDATE, "Spiders" is really just one big story, as John, David and Amy find themselves at the core of the "outbreak" and the imminent destruction of their hometown of "Undisclosed". The same strange plot elements (especially the opening sequence with the strange military box and the last minute reveal of its contents) are there, but this is a more structured and coherent story.
The use of the bizarre alien drug "Soy Sauce", introduced in JDATE, is really cool, though the nature of the story having to rely on 2nd hand accounts when you're not following Wong does make it a little odd in places - but when you get to the end and read how the book was supposedly put together it makes sense.
I picked up the book on the day of release, and the first printing had a lot of typos, and three of the pages were in the wrong order, so hopefully that'll be rectified by the time you purchase it. And you should. It's still awesome, and together with John Dies at the End, they easily make my fave reads of the year!